MH370 wreck likely south of Java, simulations show

2015-09-01 21:04
(Richard Bouhet, AFP)

(Richard Bouhet, AFP)

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Kiel - A 500km by 500km patch of ocean due south of the Indonesian island of Java is the most likely crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, a group of German researchers say.

That would direct search efforts for the plane - which went missing on March 8 2014 on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing - about 3 500km  north from where they have so far been focused, the group says.

The researchers, from the Geomar Helmholtz Center for Oceanography in Kiel, say they are basing their estimates on the likely ocean drifts that would have taken a piece of the plane's debris to the island of Reunion, where it was found in July.

But the researchers cautioned that their data was not sufficient to provide the Australian government with a definitive answer of where to search.

"Our descriptions are just a further piece of the puzzle for solving the larger mystery of MH370," said Arne Biastoch, who spoke for the group.

Mystery has surrounded the fate of the Boeing 777, which went missing with 239 people on board one hour after takeoff, leaving almost no trace until the July discovery.

Until now, researchers using satellite data have worked under the assumption that the plane went down about 2 000km west of Australia.

Teaming up with a French team, the German researchers ran a computer simulation capable of keeping track of 2 million virtual particles in the ocean as it crunched the most likely flow of currents.

"Using that, we were able to calculate the most likely site of a particle once every month," said Jonathan Durgadoo, another team member.

Read more on:    germany  |  malaysia airlines flight mh370  |  plane crashes

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